A Number Crunching Showdown

vs.

Jeffrey Howard

INT1 Task 3

Western Governors University

A. Project Plan

The purpose of this project is to determine the fastest computer operating system for solving mathematical equations. Which operating system, Windows 7 or Ubuntu Linux, performs the best when it comes to pure number crunching? In order to test this question, the researcher ran a Java based application that benchmarks the ability of each operating system to perform a mathematical operation across three different data types and a second, more complex, mathematical operation. The Java based application, Java Micro Benchmark, performs each mathematical operation eight times per test and the researcher ran the test five times for each operating system. The mathematical operations testsed by Java Micro Benchmark are integer arithmetic, long integer arithmetic, double-precision floating point arithmetic and trigonometric arithmetic. This method gave the researcher data for forty tests per mathematical operation for each operating system. The resulting data is then compared to determine which operating system is able to process mathematical operations the fastest. Research into which operating system performs better is extremely relevant in today’s technological environment. Every task that a computer performs is a mathematical operation. An area that is highly affected by the performance of the operating system is computer programming. When a computer programmer writes a program, the program must be converted from a programming language into a language the computer can understand, a process called compiling. Compiling is very hardware intensive and completely dependent on mathematical operations. The faster a computer is able to perform mathematical tasks, the faster compiling will run as well. Knowing which operations system performs better can save software developers time, which in turn saves money in development. These savings can then be passed on to the consumer, as well as leaves more time for programmers to develop new programs. A1. Literature Review

Windows 7 by Microsoft is a proprietary, closed source operating system based on Microsoft’s NT platform. Windows 7 was released in October of 2009. Ubuntu on the other hand is an open sourced, community driven operating system. As with all Linux operating systems, Ubuntu is based on the Unix operating system. Ubuntu was first released in October 2004, with its latest release, version 11.04, being released in April 2011. In the computer world, it has been highly debated on which operating system is the best. When looking at an operating system, there are many variables that go into deciding what would be the proper operating system for different needs. In this study, the researcher focuses on pure performance in regards to mathematical operations, rather than other factors such as aesthetics, usability, supported programs, etc. The focus on mathematical operations directly correlates to the operating systems ability to compile programs faster. Michael Larabel from the website Phoronix.com did a benchmark comparison of Ubuntu and Windows 7 in August of 2010. Larabel tested several benchmarks including graphics, Hard Disk Read/Write performance and RSA encryption performance (Larabel, 2010). The benchmark test I was most interested in was that of the RSA encryption test. Encryption of any sort is very processor intensive and correlates well to the experiment demonstrated in this paper. Larabel concluded that Ubuntu was more than twice as fast than Windows 7 in his benchmark. On the other hand, in February of 2009 the website TuxRadar.com performed some benchmarking tests of its own. Like Larabel, TuxRadar performaed several benchmarks that tested several aspects of the operating system. We will focus on the benchmark that tests compute-intensive tasks. TuxRadar’s results showed Windows 7 edging out Ubuntu by a slight margin...